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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Period homes and Gardens

Hello my lovelies!
Long time no chat eh? I have been back from my travels for just over a week now and I must say, despite the freezing temperatures here in the UK, I am glad to be staying put now for a bit. In fact the snow and cold are not bothering me right now because what I most want to do is hibernate. Perfect!
sleepy bear (not the least bit grizzly, honest) found here
I have had the most terrible bout of Jet Lag (yes it deserves capitals) ever.  Apparently, when you fly around the world anti-clockwise it is much easier to get back on your feet than if you go clockwise. Well I believe it might be true given my recent state of wide-awake-ness at 2am and inability to concentrate on anything (except, maybe, fabric shopping on ebay...) Since I booked my flights quite last minute, I had to fly back from New Zealand via the States instead of through Asia, so I travelled the wrong way around the world.

Anyhoo, while I am still getting my act together for Christmas I thought I might do a couple of posts about NZ and the things I love most there (besides family and friends of course). I LOVE the houses. Especially weatherboard ones. As soon as I arrive I soak up the sight of weatherboard houses that make up the majority of our homes.
Whenever I drive out to my brother's place in Otaki this one calls out to me. I love the sweeping drive, wide lawn and the huge verandah. Although the eras don't match, I  imagine Scarlet O'Hara might come here on her days off. Maybe that lawn just begs for a big poofy skirt and a parasol.
Otaki is a small coastal township and is full of these lovely Californian Bungalows, with huge gardens and verandahs to sip your G&T's on (sigh). I want a verandah! The warm weather and the available land in New Zealand inspired the adoption of this house style when the colonials were planning their towns.
Another feature of a Californian bungalow is the low, sloping roof line, and in NZ you see lots of colourful roofs, probably because so much of it is on display.
This one has the most striking roof line, only visible for a second as you drive down the street.  I suspect the part of the house with the chimney is a newer addition. 
Having left Otaki (it was time for lunch and Mum was hungry) we are now in Karori, Wellington. Suburbs closer to the city centres tend to have less gardens and more compact detailing (obviously!). The verandahs are have much more of a "enough-to-take-your-gumboots-off", than "great-Gatsby-picnic-after-croquet" feel about them.
 This one probably had stained glass windows in the small, upper windows originally. I love the rows of white rose bushes though.
This house has so many distinctive features! The curved corrugated iron roof is typical of early homes and the subtle use of tones of paint colour brings out the detailing. Even the fence line has been carefully considered.  The decorative flair of the arts and crafts type in the woodwork would have been quite expensive to have in those days. And it would have had stained glass windows too, so this little house was quite the little "show off" but in the best possible way.

And there ends our whistle stop tour of NZ homes. I hope you agree they are rather enchanting and can see why I love them so. Now that I am back in the UK for winter though I am very glad for Georgian brickwork and gas central heating! I hope you are all warm and cosy too - wherever you are!

Shona x


  1. Hellllooo! Nice to see you, to see you nice!
    Chilly, eh?
    Those houses are enchanting..I could just see myself standing at the gate of the last one. Love it.

  2. Those are lovely houses, but I can sooo relate to that bear. :-)

  3. Welcome back, sorry about the cold weather :( x

  4. I love the older weatherboard houses like you've shown here, but newer ones make me shudder. Too many memories of hot days in airless homes, wishing there was something to do in my dull little town ;)

  5. How delightful! The houses are so cute and I certainly wouldn't pass on the nice weather, either!

  6. Wow i love those houses! Makes me want to move there!

  7. Wow! Those houses are so pretty! They remind me of Craftsman style homes we have here. NZ is so lush and green! Heavenly!

  8. Love the houses! And the green...everything is so gray in Belgium right now! I especially like the last picture, looks like a perfect setting for a movie!

  9. NZ is really green, in fact it seems to be a different green than other countries - is that even possible!? Of course there are many modern homes (good, bad and really bad) in between these beauties.

  10. Lovely houses! There are some amazing gems hidden in every suburb: in my area, a deco-rectangular modernist house nestles between traditional 30s mock-tudors. Sadly it is broken into (not very nice) flats now (or happily, as I might afford to live there whereas a large house is out of our budget).

  11. Oh i love these!I live in an old country town in NSW(oldest inland settlement in Australia)so we have some gorgeous old houses from a number of different eras,including some lovely weatherboard & wooden houses(also a lot of brick)& i never get tired of looking at them.
    There are a lot more older weatherboard houses in QLD where i used to live because of the hotter climate ,we did a walking tour of old houses in Brisbane suburbs once & i saw some fantastic ones there too:)

  12. I read that the Californian Bungalow hopped over to Sydney first and then made its way all over NZ and Australia. It is marvellous how well preserved most still are.
    I am glad you all liked them too.:-)

  13. I spent a year in New Zealand some years back and had completely forgotten how fab the houses were, thank you for a lovely walk down a very hsppy memory lane!

  14. Wow awesome, beautiful garden house. And this bear is so cute.

    Just like to share with you a quote...

    "Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk." - J.C. Penney

    You can get more quotes at http://quotelandia.com


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